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18 J. Pat. Off. Soc'y 853 (1936)
1836 Senate Committee Report

handle is hein.journals/jpatos18 and id is 1133 raw text is: December, 1936, Vol. XVIII, No. 12

1836 Senate Committee Report
Numerous requests for copies of .the report of the
Senate Committee which introduced the Patent Act of
1836, and the absence of sources conveniently available
to everyone, make a reprinting of the famous report
advisable. At the same time the opportunity is taken of
recounting a few minor details concerning the act which
were not included in the Outline of the History of the
United States  Patent Office, the July number of this
The Committee, which was appointed December 31,
1835 by the Senate consisted of John Ruggles of Maine;
Samuel Prentiss of Vermont, and Isaac Hill of New
Hampshire, an unusual lack of geographical distribution.
Mr. Ruggles' report was made on April 28, 1836; three
thousand additional copies were ordered printed and the
report was also quoted and reprinted in newspapers and
other periodicals of the day. The proposed bill which
accompanied the report was considered by the Senate in
Committee of the Whole on June 1, 15 and 18, and passed
on the twentieth. The proceedings of Congress were not
reported verbatim at that time, as is done now, and con-
sequently it is impossible to learn the details of the
debates which took place on the bill. However numerous
amendments were proposed in the Senate and a few of
them adopted. The Senate of that time included many
distinguished members, such as Daniel Webster, John C.
Calhoun, Henry Clay, James Buchanan, and Thomas
Ewing, grandfather of Commissioner of Patents Ewing.
Twelve years earlier there had been a vigorous debate
between Webster and Buchanan on the patent system,
Webster making a long speech in its defense. The
occasion was a proposed bill permitting a patentee to re-
cover costs in an infringement suit. Senator Ruggles'
bill did not contain such a provision but there is one in
the act as passed and perhaps the debate was repeated.
'When the Patent Act finally passed the Senate there
was not a single dissenting vote, a fact which called for
editorial comment in the Washington papers and several

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